“I want to say this win [is for] my father,” said Tetrick, who has won three North America Cups, after the race regarding his 11,000th win. “I hope he’s doing good and watching back home. I’ve come a long way from a small town in southern Illinois. I’ve been very fortunate and like you said hopefully this isn’t my last milestone.”
Captain Victorious rushed to the lead from the pylons while Tyga Hanover and Workin Ona Mystery charged from the outside two posts towards the front. Tyga Hanover cleared command approaching a :26.3 quarter while Workin Ona Mystery moved to the lead heading towards the backside.
Leading to a :55.1 half, Workin Ona Mystery raced unchallenged into the final turn while Stag Party, sitting fifth, tipped first over and ranged towards the leader coming to the three-quarter pole. Workin Ona Mystery still had no challenge past a 1:22.2 third quarter and coasted through the stretch while pursued by Captain Victorious taking second. Stag Party settled for third while Tyga Hanover held fourth from Aflame Hanover.
“Every time I put him up close he can just go for forever it seems like,” Tetrick said after the race. “Brian [Brown] said he was ready and most of his always are ready and he wasn’t lying…the colt raced super; big mile. He always had high, high speed. He showed that—I think he went :50—in his second start at Delaware and then went to Lexington and won in :49. If he stays healthy and keeps his mind on his game, he’s as good as anybody.”
Winning his eighth race from nine starts, Workin Ona Mystery has earned $183,817 as he remained unbeaten from three starts this season. The Brian Brown trainee races for owners Diamond Creek Racing, Stambaugh Leeman Stable, Alan Keith and Wingfield Brothers LLC. He paid $3.70 to win.
With 1-2 favourite Captain Crunch breaking into the first turn, Bettors Wish tried to steal the race but was forced to slide through the inside to nonetheless take the $50,000 first elimination for the Pepsi North America Cup.
Bettors Wish pushed for position from the pylons while Captain Crunch and Air Force Hanover all pressed for command into the first turn. Air Force Hanover crossed to the front approaching a :26.2 opening quarter as Captain Crunch took a bad step but got back on stride to race fifth moving to the backstretch.
Driver Dexter Dunn attempted to slow the pace to the second quarter but Hurrikane Emperor, sitting fourth, promptly pounced off the pegs and brushed to the top past a :56.2 half. Captain Crunch continued the advance uncovered circling the final turn as Bettors Wish raced tightly in the pocket passing a 1:23 third quarter.
Hurrikane Emperor drifted from the pylons turning for home, leaving room for Bettors Wish to slide to the lead. Best In Show weaved past a tiring Air Force Hanover to get into competition late while De Los Cielos Deo dashed towards the grandstand side. Bettors Wish held off De Los Cielos Deo at the finish to win in 1:49.3 while Best In Show, Hurrikane Emperor and Captain Crunch all also advance to the final.
“The race changed complexion a little bit,” Dunn said after the race regarding Captain Crunch’s break into the first turn. “You don’t expect that to happen, [but] you know a good thing about Bettors Wish [is] he’s so versatile. He can sort of sense all that was going on around him. He’s a bit of a dream to drive. He’s the kind of horse that just makes you full of confidence when you sit behind him.”
Dunn, who is now in his first full year driving in North America, will now make his second start in a million-dollar race.
"It's a dream to come over here to North America and drive," Dunn said. "And to get to drive in the North America Cup, such a prestigious race over this side of the world, is going to be pretty special."Co-owned by trainer Chris Ryder with Fair Island Farm Inc., Bettors Wish won his ninth race from 16 starts and remains unbeaten from four starts this year. The son of Bettors Delight paid $8.60 to win and has now earned $550,488.